The Need for Mercy
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Justice revolves around equality, a good for a good and an evil for an evil.
Through justice, we are justified to bear grudges towards those who have wronged us, we are excused to distrust those who owe us, and we are privileged to look down on those who fail to meet our standards of morality and decency.
In our response to evil, inhumanity, and impurity, Justice permits us to be unjust.
However, as is the case with all things in life, nothing comes without a price.
In every way that we may feel that self-centeredness and hatred give us control over our lives and the lives of others, the reality of our humanity is such that when we allow sin to influence our lives, all we truly have is an illusion of control and a fantasy of good living.
When we hold on to weakness and shortcomings of others for the sake of developing a sense of superiority to them, we in truth become their slaves.
As the mere presence of a person is enough to rob us of all sense of comfort and peace, it is we who suffer for despising our neighbor it is they who find joy in our displeasure.
As the thoughts of doubt and suspicion plague our minds as we think of how the debts that are owed us will be paid back or vice versa, it is our borrowers who find peace of mind despite our discomfort and it is our lenders who rejoice in our suffering and melancholy.
As our hearts fill with anguish and disgust at the sight of those we look down on, it is we who lack the freedom to enjoy living and all the blessings that lie therein and it is the person of our animosity who truly benefits from our disturbance and agitation.
Even though we may feel that our ability to hate and distrust people can lift us up, they in actuality can only drag us down.
In hatred, we lose sight of God.
In vengeance, we lose our ability to love.
In distrust, we lose the mindfulness necessary to look beyond the deeds that have been done to us and see God’s image in all men and women, not just the ones we like.
As innocent as our grudges may be or as deserving as our distrust or hostility may be, when we allow the sins and shortcomings of others to cloud our judgment, we can only lose.
Although many of the debts or wrongs owed and done to us by others may seem vital for our sense of well-being, there is so much more to gain in life by simply having the strength to let go of them entirely.
While justice and revenge only distribute suffering evenly among everyone, mercy leads on the path of liberty from suffering entirely.
The Power of Mercy
13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The people that we hate through the means of justice are the very same people that we are called to love through the means of mercy.
The people that hurt us, the people that owe us, the people that resent us, those are the people we ought to be the most merciful too not only for the sake of avoiding the waste of time and energy that goes into despising someone but also for the sake of seeing God’s will come to fruition.
The sick can not get better if the doctors turn them away.
The power of mercy is that through it we have the ability to forgive those who do not deserve to be forgiven just as God forgave each and every one of us.
At the heart of mercy lies the ability to fully acknowledge every misdeed an cruelty that has ever been done to you by someone then drop them all completely.
That can be an unimaginably difficult thing to do at times.
Yet, this can be made so much easier to implement in our everyday lives once we come to terms with the fact that the biggest obstacle any of faces in the task of being merciful to others is our sense entitlement.
We feel we are entitled to the things we own so we are upset by the people who take them.
We feel we are entitled to be treated kindly so we feel threatened by those who offend and mistreat us.
We feel we are entitled to living the best lives anyone can possibly live so we feel we have been cheated by the people who seem to do better than us and be happier than us.
Justice protects our sense of entitlement yet mercy subdues and arrests it.
Mercy gives us the ability to forgive those who steal from us, to pardon those oppose or abuse us, and excuse those who live the lives we feel we deserve because in mercy lies one of the most important things we need to live the lives we are called to live, humility.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Humility is the polar opposite of self-entitlement just as modesty is in direct opposition to pride.
Mercy is the means by which humility is able to be lifted off of the pages of scripture and come alive in our hearts and minds.
In humility, the justice of vengeance is destroyed, our sense of entitlement is laid to rest and in their places remain the justice that does what is best for all people and the sense of modesty and virtue that will allow our relationships to grow and thrive.
Even though we may not always be sure of what it means to be humble in our everyday lives, when our thoughts and actions reflect our willingness to let go of the frivolous things in this life that we feel we are owed by others, we can be certain that in our deeds of mercy, humility is there also.
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
As believers in Christ, God’s love is something that we will never be without and because of that fact, so long as we choose to love and follow after him, our paths in life will always lead us to a joy and satisfaction.
We fight and bicker with others because in some way shape or form we doubt the promises of God and feel that if we don’t take our lives into our own hands, we’ll just end up alone and abandoned.
That is not true and the justice that we use as a result of that belief will do nothing but spread the pain before it allows anyone to heal.
True justice isn’t about protecting what we want for ourselves, it’s about protecting what’s best for everyone.
It’s about bringing people up to a higher place rather than keeping them down with shame and discrimination.
It’s about solving our problems with ideas and resolutions, not hatred and bigotry.
It’s about making the conscious effort to help those who hurt us rather than scorn them.
To put it simply, it’s about doing what Jesus did for us and giving up everything we think we need to make ourselves happy for the chance that everyone can get what they need to be happy.
A world where a man who was robbed would find the thief that stole from him just to make sure he had something to eat that night.
A world where a murderer is given an opportunity to better himself and find forgiveness in the eyes of his community and in the people whom his victim knew.
A world where a homeless man is given food, clothing, and shelter as any person who passed by him could not help but think to himself “that man is my brother”.
A world where God so thoroughly lives and breathes in the hearts of every man, woman, and child that the evils of war, prostitution, and world hunger just vanished one day as though they had been just a bad dream.
It takes strength to realize that kind of justice in life, more than I could ever imagine.
Yet by the goodness and mercy of God above, I think that we will get there one day.
I really think so.
Until then, let’s fight the good fight.
Thanks For Reading!